Here are his thoughts on the tour, his injury and his future:
ON TASTING DEFEAT AFTER SUCH A GREAT 2009
"What I hate is that essentially that's the last chapter, which will prey on my holidays a little bit. That's the taste that's left in your mouth - defeat in a series with the Lions, despite having won the Grand Slam and the Heineken Cup.
"It's disappointing to think that you win those two in the same year that you lose a Lions' series. In another year you'd be on a complete high throughout the whole summer, whereas now I'm left with the feeling that I've been involved in three Lions' tours and I've lost the three of them. That's not the way I saw this year ending up after the first two Tests. But even having lost I'm really glad that I got to experience everything up to half-way into the last week.
"I've had a brilliant tour and I think that says an awful lot about what the management have done and this group of players. It has been an incredibly enjoyable tour, way more so than the other two. Even though we've lost the series going into the last game, I still look back and go 'do you know what, I've really, really enjoyed myself."
ON LEAVING BEFORE THE THIRD TEST
"It's really disappointing. The weird thing is that I look at a third Test that doesn't mean anything from a series point of view, yet it means everything from the point of view of still playing for the Lions.
"I never saw myself still playing for another four years. I always felt that this would be my last Lions' tour but, at the same, when you see Simon Shaw you think, 'well, there's hope'. I don't know, maybe I've been a little bit tainted by a little bit of success this year."
FRUSTRATION AT LOSING SERIES
"We just lost by really, really small margins. We just needed a little bit of luck in both games, and we didn't get it. The margins at this level are so minute that sometimes you just need the bounce of the ball or you look at particular points in a game. I look at that penalty they kicked just before half-time and I look at myself.
"I felt I was responsible for that because I called the play that gave them the penalty. It's just those small things and, maybe, sometimes being a little smart. Maybe being a little older, as I am, I should have known better. But sometimes when you get that winning feeling you sometimes just go for the jugular."
ON THE CONCUSSION
"I was a bit shaky before that clash with Danie Rossouw. When Gethin Jenkins actually cracked a cheekbone, I hit Habana as well. I only saw on the video that Gethin pretty much punched me in the face in the act of the tackle which kind of stunned me. I was a bit shaky and when the second hit came along I was a little worse for wear.
"I didn't seem to have any emotions because of the knock to my head for the remaining 10 or 15 minutes when I was off the pitch. It was weird, like not having emotion whether we won or lost."
ON HEADING HOME EARLY
"I learned an awful lot about not staying around after your tour has finished from four years ago. I stayed for a fortnight and, when I look back, that was not my smartest move. If I'm not going to be on the training pitch, at least trying to help the team win the third Test, there's no need for me to be hanging around."
ON MISSING HIS 100TH TEST THIS WEEKEND
"I am aware it would have been my 100th Test in Johannesburg. It's disappointing but, at the same time, in a way, it would have been fantastic knowing you were playing in your 100th game having something to play for. It'll revert back to playing 100 Test for Ireland hopefully."